California Lutheran University's Student Newspaper Since 1961

The Echo

California Lutheran University's Student Newspaper Since 1961

The Echo

California Lutheran University's Student Newspaper Since 1961

The Echo

    Record Scratch: Music Studio Postponed

    A new music production building is being added to the laundry list of enhancements and renovations to the California Lutheran University campus. But because of an unexpected increase in budget, the recording studio set to open in fall of 2019 no longer has a concrete opening date.

    New studio, at a price: Music production majors will have a dedicated music studio open 24-hours for sound mixing, recording and production. The studio will include a control booth, isolation booths, a smaller studio and a smaller control booth, Van Ommeren said. Blueprint provided by Ryan Van Ommeren
    New studio, at a price: Music production majors will have a dedicated music studio open 24-hours for sound mixing, recording and production. The studio will include a control booth, isolation booths, a smaller studio and a smaller control booth, Van Ommeren said.
    Blueprint provided by Ryan Van Ommeren

    “The hope was that we would get at least a piece of this for $800,000 and get something functional going, but we just got our estimates in about a week ago Friday and the expenses are well above $800,000,” Van Ommeren said.

    Van Ommeren said the planning  board authorized spending $800,000 on the new recording studio in February 2017.

    The recording studio will take the place of the art building behind the new science center at the heart of campus. To help with the design process, the university hired Walters-Storyk Design Group, a famous recording studio designer and architecture firm.

    The current plan includes a large studio with a control booth, two isolation booths, a smaller studio and a smaller control booth. The second, smaller studio is set to have Dolby Atmos, which will allow for immersive sound mixing.

    Van Ommeren said the studio is a high priority for the university to complete, as it may help Cal Lutheran become a more competitive university in the music production world in the long term. The recording studio is set to have industry standard, top-of-the-line equipment.

    While the equipment currently used by the music majors is up-to-date and in good condition, the studio location has proven to be an obstacle.

    “It’s a challenge sometimes. The space itself is not acoustically equipped for mixing accuracy and production accuracy,” sophomore music production major Dominic Castro said.

    Music professor Mark Spraggins said the facilities are a major challenge for faculty and students in the major and faculty are ready to expand the program.

    “Recording in the television studio takes away from the assets of the recording studio, because it is a dead room,” Spraggins said.

    The construction of the building itself costs over $1 million and does not include everything needed for a studio, Van Ommeren said. Because of this unexpected cost estimate, the design group will be meeting again to see what can be done and what the next steps include.

    The money originally came from the operating budget, Van Ommeren said, but the new price tag might mean that money from university donors will be considered to pay for construction.

    Once the new building is opened, Spraggins said he believes it will “enhance the university compared to other liberal arts universities and the facilities they have.”

    Spraggins said having new music facilities on campus will help “elevate the program.”

    The recording studio is expected to be similar to a commercial recording studio in Los Angeles and be a 24-hour facility.

    When the major was first introduced at Cal Lutheran, music production students started out with an Apple iMac and two RadioShack speakers. At one point, students were also leasing out a recording studio in Westlake Village.

    “It’s awesome -– there are a lot of projects that I’ll be able to bring in there from outside sources and other people in the industry,” Castro said. “The potential to see some real, noticed projects in the United States and possibly even internationally will come out of this facility.”

    Since the new equipment will be expensive and require experience to operate, students will need to be granted access to the building. Once they have access, they will be able to use their student identification cards to get in.

    Van Ommeren said the music production building received priority over an updated theatre building because the music production major lacks facilities.

    “The sense was that although theater’s facilities are sub-standard by anyone’s admission, music production doesn’t have anything right now so they’re sharing the TV studio that is also used by film,” Van Ommeren said.

    Additional price quotes are being received from other companies to see what options the university has and to see how Cal Lutheran can best move forward with the project, Van Ommeren said.

    Vianca Castaneda-Correa
    Reporter